THE SHINE JOURNAL

Flash Literature, Poetry, Art and Photography!

Voices From Inside

 

"Black Dove"

by

Artist- In -Residence

Maureen Radoncic

I  recently participated in a writing workshop with a group called Voices From Inside.  Info from its website:

"Through creative writing workshops and public readings, Voices from Inside empowers women who have been incarcerated to make changes in their lives and to engage positively with the communities to which they return."

Many people helped create this special issue and indeed thanks are in order.

Carol Bevan Bogart introduced me to VFI .  One of my college professors and a VFI facilitator, Carol is also a writer of wonderful words. Over time she became interested in SHINE and shared her enthusiasm aboout VFI. The result was my participating in a VFI workshop.

 Terrific Writer and also Director of VFI,  Kim Keough  whom I accompanied  to that VFI workshop and we began a collaboration. The result is what you read this month. 

Olga Candelario, is the fabulous writer and VFI facilitator who translated the Spanish works to English.

The VFI  Advisory Board  and its Steering Committee whose members wholeheartedly supported this project.

Maureen Radoncic , our talented Artist-In-Residence, created five  very special pieces just for November.

Now about this issue: Please do yourself a favor: Whatever negative, preconceived notions you may have about women who have been or are incarcerated, I ask that you set those aside.  As you read these pieces, I ask also that you think about the contributors-especially the women who have been incarcerated- simply as writers.

Their experiences are rich and varied and many have struggled with things about which some of us may be unfamiliar. But one thing is clear: They ARE writers. In this issue they share their hearts, souls and minds with us.  I know you don't take lightly the transformational power of  the written word and will read their work with care.

Best,

Pamela

 

 

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

by


Maya Angelou



A free bird leaps on the back of the wind
and floats downstream till the current ends
and dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage
can seldom see through his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.